The term DevOps has been around for more than a decade, yet there’s still a lot of hype and confusion surrounding it. Since it’s such an important concept for software developers and ISVs, I wanted to delve into it further and separate fact from fiction.
What is DevOps?
DevOps is a combination of software development and information technology operations practices that emphasize the collaboration and communication of software developers (i.e., Dev) and IT professionals who run infrastructure (aka, Ops). One of the primary goals of DevOps is to establish a culture and environment where software innovation (e.g., building, testing and releasing software) occurs more rapidly and reliably, contributing to a better customer experience.
Better security is another goal of DevOps, which occurs as a result of spotting and fixing vulnerabilities more quickly and deploying security updates and patches faster. Another aspect of DevOps entails skilled professionals automating formerly manual processes, where developers become users of their software, and manual labor related to an infrastructure becomes unnecessary.
The explosion of cloud computing has expanded DevOps’ potential and made it more popular among software developers and ISVs. Many companies are looking at ways of using DevOps to streamline operational efficiency or improve working relationships across their organizations.
When DevOps Theory Meets Reality
Any new strategy or methodology that makes the kind of promises DevOps does—faster releases, quicker reaction time, automated tasks, better security—almost always comes with a few caveats, and DevOps is no exception. According to the 2023 DevOps Pulse survey, 75 percent of respondents say it takes them hours to resolve production issues, and only 14 percent are satisfied with their current mean time to recovery (MTTR). Additionally, 72 percent are employing or planning to employ a unified model for observability and security, as these are both growing concerns.
To overcome time constraints, software teams are turning to test automation. A survey by Kobiton found 97 percent are automating testing, a marked increase from 2020, when 76 percent of survey respondents were automating fewer than half of their tests. Furthermore, almost half of the respondents say it takes three to five days for manual testing before a release, but automation takes only three to six hours.
Big Payoffs for Those Who Get DevOps Right
When a software company finds the right approach to DevOps, the advantages can be significant. Productivity increases by 30x, lead times decrease by 200x, failures decrease by 60x, and teams can recover 168x faster.
DevOps is proving to be a revolutionary approach to enhancing software development in complex projects, but the big question many ISVs have to ask themselves is whether they can achieve the benefits of DevOps without increasing developer stress and burnout.
I’d love to know your ISV company’s experience with DevOps. What were the biggest hurdles you had to overcome? What kind of results are you seeing? What advice do you have for your ISV peers? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.